Students With Special Needs Face Double-Digit Achievement Gaps
A new report finds that students with disabilities are faring far worse on standardized tests than their typically-developing peers.
Scores for kids with disabilities ranged from 32 to 41 percentage points below those for other students on state assessments during the 2012-2013 school year, according to findings from the National Center on Educational Outcomes at the University of Minnesota.
For the report, researchers combed websites for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 10 other areas including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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They then contacted officials in the localities to verify the data collected, which included information on student performance on general exams as well as alternate assessments designed for children with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
While the availability and type of data disclosed by each state varied, the report found persistent, deep divisions between the performance of those with and without disabilities across the country on reading and math exams.
Statistics dating back to 2006 show that there’s been little change in performance for those with disabilities as compared to other students.
Overall, scoring gaps widened as students reached middle and high school, the report indicated.